September 8, 2022
Louis Diamond Quoted
by Mason Braswell
UBS Wealth Management USA has underscored that top producers are the future of its business with a grid-rate booster that was announced earlier this year and is set to pay out at the beginning of 2023.
The “Productivity Award” adds 150 basis points of payout per month for eligible brokers, according to a summary included in June in an annual disclosure document. The bonus, which accrues through 2022, was rolled out in an internal memo in January but may not have drawn much fanfare given the high bar to qualify.
UBS introduced the award after some consternation over its 2022 compensation plan that was introduced in November, according to people familiar with management’s thinking. This year’s plan overhauled its core grid-based pay thresholds to focus more on length of service and did away with an asset-growth award, which rankled some newer senior producers on teams or proficient growers.
“It’s smart,” said Louis Diamond, a recruiter with Diamond Consultants in New Jersey who has moved teams away from UBS. “If anything, it’s a signal that, ‘We’re giving you an olive branch. We know you’re our most productive advisors, and we’re listening to feedback.’”
That productivity award equates to roughly $150,000 in additional pay per year for a $10-million producer.
UBS Group AG CEO Ralph Hamers emphasized the firm’s focus on its highest producers when he touted in July on the company’s earnings call that profitability in the Americas has gone up by 60% even as the broker count has fallen over the past three years.
“That’s the strategy,” Diamond said. “They concentrate on a smaller number of higher-producing advisors at the expense of the middle and lower tier.”